Xiaomi’s share of the 22 million wearable units shipped in Q2 2017 was 17 per cent, making it the world’s top wearables maker as it overtook both Fitbit and Apple, Strategy Analytics figures show.
Fitbit, which just announced its Q2 revenue was $353 million, held a close second place with a 16 per cent market share, though the figure was down from 29 per cent in Q2 2016. Apple’s share was up by 4 percentage points year-on-year, but the vendor fell from second to third place in Strategy Analytics’ ranking. Xiaomi grew its share from 15 per cent in Q2 2016 to 17 per cent in the recent period.
Overall, wearables shipments were up 8 per cent thanks to “strong demand for low cost fitness bands in China and premium smartwatches across the US,” Steven Waltzer, an analyst at Strategy Analytics explained.
The report noted Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness trackers are “wildly popular” in China due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart rate monitors, step counters and calendar alerts.
Meanwhile, it said Fitbit “is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement” between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple.
Apple’s rumoured Watch Series 3 with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year, the study said.
Last week, Xiaomi secured a $1 billion loan, as it looks to accelerate global expansion and explore new retail opportunities.
Strategy Analytics’ figures for Q2 appear to bear out a trend first highlighted by IDC numbers for Q1 2017 wearable shipments in terms of Fitbit’s slide. The research company showed Apple and Xiaomi assuming joint top spot in the global wearables market, which overall saw a 17.9 per cent year-on-year rise in shipments during the first quarter of the year.
Fitbit’s Q2 revenue was down by nearly 40 per cent year-on-year, and the company generated a loss of $58 million in the recent quarter compared with a profit of around $6 million in Q2 2016.
However, CEO James Park was bullish, saying: “Consumer demand in the second quarter was better than anticipated, enabling Fitbit to reduce channel inventory and generate better sales.
He described 2017 as a “transition year” for the company.
“After launching two new products in the first half of 2016 and higher inventory in the channel in the second half of 2016, growth comparisons will not be truly aligned until Q1 2018, but we continue to make good progress towards returning to growth and profitability looking forward,” he said on an earnings call.
“Our smartwatch, which we believe will deliver the best health and fitness experience in the category, is on track for delivery ahead of the holiday season and will drive a strong second half of the year.”